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Pan-African tourism meet preps in good progress

According to the Director of Tourism in the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ibrahim Mussa, participants to the conference will also discuss Challenges and Opportunities in the continent’s tourism industry. “The purpose of his visit is to discuss and assess our preparations for the meeting.

Our esteemed guest also met the management and top executives of the ministry and tourism stakeholders in the private sector. Tourist arrivals in Africa are expected to double in the next 15 years,” Mr Mussa explained Mr Pierret visited the venue of the conference, The Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), the Arusha National Park and also had a look at some of the hotels to accommodate more than 400 delegates.

Apart from the conference, he added, there have been bilateral discussions between the ministry and UNWTO on matters of technical assistance. Both sides have agreed that there will be eight (8) sessions during the conference.

Topics to be covered after the opening session, include; context and outlook for tourism in protected areas in Africa, Developing and marketing tourism products in protected areas, perspectives on challenges, opportunities and practical measures to strengthen tourism in protected areas and ensuring community benefits and participation.

Others include integrating of tourism and conservation management, the right framework of governance, planning and legislation and key issues that will emanate and the way forward.  “Immediately after the visit of Mr Pierret, 400 invitations will be sent to every country in Africa including ministers, Park Managers, Tour Operators, Hoteliers, consultants and academicians.

Tour organizers in USA, Europe and Asia will also receive invitations,” Mussa explained According to the UN-WTO World Tourism Barometer, in 2011, there were 983 million international tourist arrivals worldwide, with a growth of 4.6 per cent as compared to 940 million in 2010.

The top ten international tourism destinations in 2011 were France, United States of America, China, Spain, Italy, Turkey, UK, Germany, Malaysia and Mexico.As for Africa, in 2011, there were over 50.17 million international tourist arrivals to the continent, an increase of 0.9% over 2010.

The top ten African destinations were Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Kenya and Namibia. “UN-WTO chose Tanzania as the most appropriate venue for the event as the country has made impressive progress in participatory tourism management.

Aim of the conference is to share experiences, take opportunities and meet challenges in order to create jobs through tourism and alleviate poverty. Africa has immense tourism assets especially culture and nature,” Pierret said 

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Author: BILHAM KIMATI

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